Sometimes the universe does you a favor. It puts you in the right place, at the right time, for something good to happen. And if you’re lucky, you realize it when it happens. It’s like a big cosmic combo lock has just clicked into place.
Sometimes we don’t realize it until after the fact, but that’s okay too. It’s still special in retrospect as we look back. I hope you know that feeling, and if you don’t, I hope you feel it some day, because it’s really an awesome feeling.
I’ve felt it a few times, usually when the universe puts a certain person in my life who’s meant to be there. A friend, a lover, a teacher or mentor (or someone I can teach or help), maybe an animal. I’ve even felt it with some of you who are now reading.
One of the first times I felt the universe click into place was when I met my college boyfriend, “M.” I felt it again ten years later when he and I reconnected as friends. You may remember — I wrote about M in my post “The Song Remembers When” last year to wish him a happy birthday.
Today is M’s birthday again, and since so many of you were intrigued by him, I thought I would share him again with you. This time, in his own words.
See, because I have a feeling the universe does everyone a favor when it puts M in their lives. M is a natural teacher and guide, and I’m convinced he has a very old and wise soul. The following are a few lessons M has taught me through the years, and now, for his birthday, I pass them on to you.
These are his words from emails and messages–even a book inscription. While M knows I was going to share some of his words, he doesn’t know which words. (How is that for trust, huh?) I hope this is a nice birthday surprise for M, and I hope his words help you some day, as they have helped me.
As you’re reading, listen for the click . . . that’s the sound of the universe clicking into place. That’s the sound of the universe doing you a favor.
Music can transform and heal a soul
“In 1988 or ’89 I attended the Atlanta Jazz Fest in Piedmont Park and got to see Joe Satriani. I’m still stunned, I swear. He’d had a tragedy of some sort and it was a surprise that he played. He came on unexpectedly and they kind of crammed him in to the show. I don’t remember the name of the song–and haven’t heard it since–but it was wrenching as I watched a musical innovative god surrender in front of 2000 people. I was up front stage right and watched him weep as he played. He was the only man on the planet for those 15 minutes; he existed for that song at that time. If I get to face God ever I will thank Him for that time. It sounds a little melodramatic but it is truth.”
[In the one-in-a-million chance that you know which song Satriani performed that day, please (pretty please?) leave me a comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org - thank you!]
Flowers can transform and heal a room
“I like flowers a lot. In any room just one flower changes everything. The energy, the feeling, the emotion of any place is changed instantly by one single flower. It’s awesome. Go buy some flowers for your house today and see if it’s not true.”
Books are meant to be loved, and to love a book means to give it away
“I love used books and I love what they’re all about. Used books live and survive on the edge just as we do. It’s so easy for a book to be read and thrown in the trash, but a used book is very special just for the mere fact that it is used. . . . It was loved or acknowledged, and for a moment it was read and enjoyed, and, most importantly, it has been shared.
‘Someone was awe-stricken enough to give this book away. I too was awe-stricken with its content, and I give it to you. I hope that you love it enough to give it away. Happy Birthday!”
[The book was a collection of Walt Whitman poetry. While I haven't been willing to give away the book, yet, at least I loved the lesson enough to give it to you.]
You can benefit from pain; it’s all about perspective
“If I take time away from deadlifting, then the first session back, my hands burn and hurt as the callouses thicken and I get stronger. My hands hurt but I know they’re getting better and I’m benefitting from the pain. I’m getting safer because of the injury not to be hurt again. It’s going to be okay, even if it’s not a good day, even if things don’t go well. It’s hard to see past pain sometimes as they say. . . . remember that it’s all about perspective sometimes.”
Wood never dies; it lives on through its projects
“I never got too far into conventional art, although now I’m excited at the thought. I find art in carpentry and in bikes.
‘My daddy was a ruthlessly hard man. . . . his only peace was in the perfection that he created in his wood work. I remember being five or six and him having me close my eyes and feel planks of wood to identify species and different parts of the tree so that grain patterns on cabinet faces would match up. He was obsessive about his creations, I think hoping that someone would “understand” and “get it” through his work just as an artist. He told me that wood never dies, and that anything made from it allows the tree that it came from to live as if it were never cut. . . . To this day I feel the intentions of old-school carpenters.
‘Next time you are in an old house, close your eyes and run your hands down the door casing or the joints on the wainscoting or cabinets. The art is what you don’t see — in the chatters and tiny hammer dimples.”
Life is short; love the suck
reminding me that I am not alone
this body makes me feel eternal
all this pain is an illusion
[Lyrics from Tool's "Parabol" and "Parabola." M introduced me to their life-changing music, and explained:]
“. . . meaning to me that there is joy and sweet celebration in every breath, especially at the last. Our bodies are frail, and we as spirits that inhabit them are fickle and fallable. We are preoccupied with everything in the world except enjoying every aspect of our being. Until you see someone die and look in their eyes, see them there and then realize that they are just gone, we will always take for granted our lives. This is all very hard to convey. I love every day even the shitty ones, and I love the suck just as much as the smooth sailing. I have been in a terrible way as of late but I still love it. . . all ups and downs should be celebrated. That’s enough. Goodnight beautiful. I love you.”
You can be stupid and brilliant at the same time
“Damn I was stupid and brilliant. If I had not let you go, you would not be who you are, and we would not be here having this friendship.”
Happy Birthday, M. You’re beautiful. I love you. And, like wood, love never dies either.
Joe Satriani, “Always With Me, Always With You“